Saturday, September 24, 2011

Productive Saturday

I've been here a week! Time flies. But, on the other hand, I feel like I've been here for a long time because of how comfortable and at home I feel with the family, so it's kind of the best of both worlds.

Their old au pair, Lindsay, told me about a cafe called Sugarplum that has unlimited refills of filtered coffee, so of course I had to check it out. I'm reading Les Miz and it's really picking up (Valjean just turned himself in during what would be the "Who Am I?" section), and I've plowed through over two hundred pages in 3 days, so I welcomed a break from the house to really focus on reading more.

First of all, going anywhere in Paris is more satisfying than anywhere else I've lived because it takes more effort to get there. The Transilian & Metro are easy and convenient, but there's nothing like arriving at your destination after having been underground for so long. Sugarplum was everything I wanted it to be! It's run by two Americans and a Canadian, and the coffee was gooood and very reasonable. ALSO, they're primarily a bakery, which means that they have delicious American-style pastries (while I lovvve my tartelettes des fraimboises, anyone who really knows me knows that cake holds a special place in my heart). I expected the slices to be around 8 euros each since Sugarplum is kind of a novelty, so I was pleasantly surprises that my AMAZING slice of chocolate pumpkin cake only cost 4 euros. Plus they gave me milk for my coffee at no extra charge (unusual in France), and one of the owners was so friendly than when I asked for directions to the next place on my list, she even walked me outside so that she could specifically show me exactly where to go. I loved the atmosphere, and I'll definitely be back.

My next plan was to find H&M because 1) duh, I actually have kind of an income now, and 2) it was going to be a good 20 minutes away, which meant that I was bound to run into something interesting during my trek! It turns out that Sugarplum is very close to the Pantheon, which was a pleasant surprise (though, I should add, that I haven't been in yet and I refuse to go into anything cultural until I've figured out how to prove that I'm a student so that I can save myself the admissions fees). And I had never even seen St. Genevieve's, which is right next to the Pantheon, and had an amazing front that I couldn't photograph accurately. Apparently, St. Genevieve's (patron St. of Paris) remains from the 500s used to rest there, until the Revolution when they were destroyed, ugh. But the church was nice.

I successfully made it to Rue de Rennes, where I had passed H&M a few days ago. I knew it was on this street, but I couldn't remember where exactly, so I chose a direction and walked for evvver, only to realize that I had obviously chosen the wrong direction, but again, walking is the best way to learn what's around me, so it wasn't the end of the world. I found the store, but I didn't stay long because it was so crowded -- because most businesses aren't open on Sundays, eveeeryyyone does their shopping on Saturdays, making for stores as busy as Christmas season would be in the US. It's kind of ridiculous. I'm totally going back on Monday though, after my first day of classes  (don't worry, Mom & Dad, this trip is purely for window shopping!).

Tonight there is a full house of kids because all three of mine are here, plus some friends of the family might have having a baby tonight, so their two kids are sleeping over, plus Juliet's friend is also spending the night. It's going to be a big party. I asked the youngest one (maybe 2 or 3?) how old she was, and she told me she didn't know (and then she refused to talk to me more, but at least I tried, right?). Eric took orders for McDonald's, so now while I was suspicious before, I now have no doubt that I'm actually living on American soil.

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